Christ Gives Us the Bread of Eternal Life

Everyone desires longevity. Chinese emperor Qin Shi Huang sent 3,000 people on a mission to find the elixir of life but none of them returned and he only live up to 49 years. It is said that the average lifespan of the kings of the Joseon dynasty was 45 years. In spite of the best food and health care provided them, only two kings of the Joseon dynasty lived 60. The co-relationship between food and longevity has been known for many years. Recently, the secret behind the longevity of Chinese leaders, most of whom lived past 90, has been made public. What is this secret by the way? First, a large amount of mixed grain (多粗粮). Second, less meat (少肉). Third, 25 kinds of food daily (25種食物). Fourth, stop eating when 70% full (七成飽) Fifth, eating snacks twice a day consisting of a small amount of yogurt, dried fruits and nuts, or fruits (兩頓零食). Sixth, low-sodium (低鹽), low-fat (低脂), high-fiber (高纖維). Seventh, generous consumption of apricot seeds, sesame seeds, walnuts, and wine for heart and brain health. Lastly, regular exercise. Regardless of the benefit of healthy diet and exercise, however, people age and eventually die. Would it not be wonderful if there is a food of immortality that grants us eternal life if consumed only once? In fact, there is. The Bible says Jesus Christ is that food of immortality.

Jesus Christ said that He was the living bread from the heaven and those who partake of Him would live eternally (John 6:48-51). In the Old Testament, the Manna came down from heaven. It was the daily bread for the Israelites. The divine message behind the Manna was, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” It is a powerful reminder that the solution to all our needs and problems comes from the above. Thus, our Lord said, “I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven” (John 6:32). Everything in life including eternal life comes from the Lord, the bread from heaven (John 6:35). To eat the bread of life, we must eat of Christ.

Jesus said we gain life only through eating of His body and drinking of His blood (John 6:53). This message served as a major obstacle to comprehension by the Jews and Jesus’ disciples. As a result, many left (John 6:60-67). We must understand this message spiritually. Eating of Christ’s body and drinking of His blood means whole heartedly confessing that our Lord tore His flesh and shed His blood on our behalf. It means a life in which we become united with Christ and acknowledge, “Christ’s death is my death. Christ’s resurrection is my resurrection. Christ’s life is my life.” The moment we believe in our hearts the death and redemption of Jesus Christ, we are united with Him. There is no Christianity without affirmation of Jesus’ redemptive death. We must confess and believe that we are sinners and Jesus Christ died for us. Furthermore, we must live according to His Word (Romans 5:8-9).

Those of us who have been given eternal life through Christ must work for the bread of eternity. When Jesus performed the miracle of the five loaves and two fish, many followed Him. Jesus then said to them, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life” (John 6:26-27). God’s blessings are granted so that we may acquire a higher level of faith and fulfill a higher level of calling. God does not bless us to be self-centered and greedy. Rather, He blesses us to be altruistic and generous with our spiritually and physically less fortunate neighbor (1 John 4:9). Worshipping God, studying about God, loving God and neighbor, witnessing, and evangelization are working for food that endures to eternal life.

Some time ago, seagull deaths on the coast of the U.K. made headlines. The investigation later revealed that the seagulls died of famine after refusing to eat natural foods as a result of having grown accustomed to human foods. God the Creator has given us the natural food to live on. It is none other than Jesus Christ, the bread of life. If our main focus becomes the pursuit of the bread of the body, we will lose our lives like the seagulls that have indulged in human foods. For those of us who truly believe in Christ and obey Him, there awaits eternal life in which there is no thirst or hunger.

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